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An Old Camera and a Nice Story

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by drd1135, May 16, 2014.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    My college has a four week spring term where students take one course and it runs at “triple” time. Most faculty use this time to teach unusual courses, travel courses, etc. We have professor of photography in the art dept. and she teaches a course on old print making techniques such as cyanotypes, wet plates, palladium and platinum printing, etc. The prints were really a pleasure to see and the class even managed to make cyanotype t-shirts (no phosphate detergents, please). Most of the students used a digital camera, tweaked the curves in PS and made a negative using a printer. One kid, however, used an old Mamiya TLR. In addition to 120 film, he modified it a bit to directly expose 120 sized tintypes. We spoke for a while, especially about his adventures learning to do manual focusing with parallax. He said that he realized that the digital cameras were giving better results, especially after some Photoshop work. However, he really enjoyed using the camera itself, which he had setup with an eye level finder. We spoke about Vivian Maier and her TLR and how much he liked her work. We also spoke of the contrast between the pixel peeping we do with digital cameras and the beauty of many of these clearly less sharp prints. I finally asked where he got the camera and he told me a graduating senior had given it to him because the senior just didn’t think he’d have access to darkrooms once he graduated. (We have two that can accommodate 16.) This student plans to pass on the camera when he leaves.

    No real issue here. It was just a thoroughly enjoyable experience that reminded me of the joy I get from photography and I thought I would share it with you all.
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'd love to take a class on making wet plates. In the meantime, I'll settle for wetting my plates in the kitchen sink and then putting them in the dishwasher. :biggrin:
     
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  3. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Christa (my colleague in the art dept.) does a wonderful job introducing our students to photography. Her film classes always have huge wait lists.
     
  4. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Oh man, that sounds incredible. Heart-warming to hear that stuff still happens. I'll go hug my borrowed Yashica now.
     
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